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post #91 of 99 Old 02-13-2020, 05:55 AM
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Wow 18Hurts,
You really hit me with both barrels there with your response! I'm not sure how to respond. That second test with the 30 audiophiles you referenced was pretty comical. Seeing the pictures of those four guys really concentrating was funny, but the speakers used in the experiment were pathetic. If they had used towers then the test would have been more revealing. Anyway, I stated earlier that I couldn't hear a difference in sound from the CD players. I suppose I have to add "HD" and "super audio" music to the vast and growing list of conspiracies against the common folk by the powers that be. The record companies probably finish their HD audio format albums very carefully, that's why they can claim higher resolution audio, and not simply better recordings at the studio. Meanwhile, the recording quality of modern CDs by the same studios are extremely poor, Metallica's Death Magnetic comes to mind, but that is a different conspiracy. Thank you.
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post #92 of 99 Old 02-13-2020, 06:43 AM
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Wow 18Hurts,
You really hit me with both barrels there with your response! I'm not sure how to respond. That second test with the 30 audiophiles you referenced was pretty comical. Seeing the pictures of those four guys really concentrating was funny, but the speakers used in the experiment were pathetic. If they had used towers then the test would have been more revealing. Anyway, I stated earlier that I couldn't hear a difference in sound from the CD players. I suppose I have to add "HD" and "super audio" music to the vast and growing list of conspiracies against the common folk by the powers that be. The record companies probably finish their HD audio format albums very carefully, that's why they can claim higher resolution audio, and not simply better recordings at the studio. Meanwhile, the recording quality of modern CDs by the same studios are extremely poor, Metallica's Death Magnetic comes to mind, but that is a different conspiracy. Thank you.

Couple of caveats;

Beware of falling into the “oh you can’t tell your gear isn’t revealing enough” trap. The speakers were fine.

You’re on the right track. If you do hear an audible difference in a “hi-res” recording it’s due to a better mastering of the studio recording. Yes, due to the loudness wars many CDs had terrible dynamic range. Metallica’s album is usually seen as the worst.

Vinyl can’t have the same loudness or the needle won’t stay on the record, so dynamic range is preserved, because they can’t make it bad that way. Digital could do it right, but had the option of just making it louder (this was for many reasons) and did that. This is why there is a desire for vinyl.




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post #93 of 99 Old 02-18-2020, 01:35 PM
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Does 18 Hurts get the record for longest reply ever?? I read few paragraphs then gave up.. sorry, but I prefer the Readers Digest Version; way tooooo long

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post #94 of 99 Old 02-18-2020, 02:28 PM
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Does 18 Hurts get the record for longest reply ever?? I read few paragraphs then gave up.. sorry, but I prefer the Readers Digest Version; way tooooo long
Gosh, sorry to hear it's too much effort to read. Maybe try Tik Tok instead?

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post #95 of 99 Old 02-29-2020, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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FWIW, I settled on the Naim CD5si.


Thank you to all who chimed in
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post #96 of 99 Old 03-01-2020, 04:39 AM
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FWIW, I settled on the Naim CD5si.


Thank you to all who chimed in
This has been a wild thread! So you bought a CD player after all, or shall we say a "transport with a built-in DAC". A $2000 CD-only player! Naim is a primo high-end brand, no doubt. Not merely "high end (ish)" lol.

I just read up on it in Stereophile... "Nestled into that swing-out drawer is a Philips VAM1202/12 transport" which FWIW is a mechanism that you can pick up on eBay for $10-$20.

For any casual readers, this illustrates the biggest constraint in building a high-end transport:. The actual transport mechanism is simply not something that is manufactured by any high-end audio company. So instead, a high-end audio company is forced to take a piece of commodity electronics and build a super expensive box around it. Granted, this transport was favored for use in "premium" CD player models from brands like Denon and Philips... not entry level. But still commodity electronics. In the case of this player, Naim concentrated on the loading mechanism, which is usually a motorized drawer or slot-load mechanism, but here it's a fully manual, hinged "drawer" mechanism designed to minimize vibrations. On the other hand, that solidity in built quality represents the main thing naim can do to maximize the performance of the component.

As a way of summarizing the discussions that have occurred in this thread, if you use a box strictly as a transport, there is no appreciable benefit to spending big bucks on it because you're still buying a commodity transport mechanism—any decent Blu-ray player featuring a digital output will do the trick. And it will remain "true" that ripping CDs is the bar-none best approach, not playing the discs on a player.

But, if you see value in a sturdy chassis, quality analog components, and in fact are purchasing a CD player with analog output and plan on using that functionality as opposed to using the player as a transport, that at least there is some justification in paying for that extra componentry.

But at the end of the day, the actual transport that's inside that Naim is not some bespoke piece of technology. The advice offered earlier in this thread still stands, if you are simply looking for a CD transport to deliver a digital signal to an external DAC, there are tons of options out there for a lot less money that will do the exact same thing.
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Last edited by imagic; 03-01-2020 at 05:31 AM.
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post #97 of 99 Old 03-01-2020, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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So you bought a CD player after all, or shall we say a "transport with a built-in DAC". A $3500 CD-only player!.

2k, actually
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post #98 of 99 Old 03-01-2020, 05:32 AM
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2k, actually
Fixed, thx. I was looking at the price of the CD5 XS in the Stereophile review when I realized the "i" was missing. That's a fair bit more reasonable, craftsmanship is not free and the build quality of naim is superb.

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post #99 of 99 Old 03-01-2020, 08:04 AM
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I just read up on it in Stereophile... "Nestled into that swing-out drawer is a Philips VAM1202/12 transport" which FWIW is a mechanism that you can pick up on eBay for $10-$20.
Good point,

Have a much older friend of mine, for some crazy reason he got back into cassette decks. I don't get it either, then again I'm not big on nostalgia or stacking up components but it keeps him off the streets at night! He purchased an old Teac pro deck which promptly failed and broke belts after a few months--time waits for no cassette deck. I'm the electronics geek so I tore it apart, replaced all the belts, cleaned the heads and got the old dog going. He was looking at a Marantz or Denon Pro deck, really don't matter because they are the same company but very interesting. The Marantz was $500 and pretty but no Dolby noise reduction (obsoleted by Dolby) no dual capstans, no 3 heads or anything. Did some checking and there is ONE company left on the planet that makes cassette transports in China and all cassette decks use that transport. $30 boombox all the way up to the $500 Marantz all use the same transport, heads and so on.

Once I informed him of that, his choice for performance went out the window so I told him my 30 year old Onkyo would crush anything available now. The old Onk still works, needs some bias adjustment but works well for cassssssssette playback. He pondered his options, once I told him the old Teac was running again that sealed the deal. Don't forget to call that old junk "vintage" kids! Logic and common sense dictates that, nostalgia only lasts so long so having a company build a new transport, heads, noise reduction system etc. is a business decision. I sure as heck won't buy stock in that company!

Around 5 or 6 years ago, I built up my garage sound system and went a bit overboard with the subwoofers. My CD player would skip during hard bass passages even though it was in a rack on a very heavy bench. Sniffed around for a CD player that had a buffer to prevent skipping and failed. Luckily, I found a used dual-tray club CD player that was used in a studio and the MSRP of $800 fell to a used price of $50. Dual trays, huge buffer, play CDs backwards, samplers and it was two piece so the giant displays on the controller box worked very well. The local teens like to "scratch" with it, make loops and samples and even my cassette loving nostalgia buddy brought over some Beatles song that when played backwards sez "Number 9". Played Led Zeppelin backwards, no creature of the dark showed up so lied to again! Like the beast, 22 pounds of metal and two transports make it a fun toy to play with although most of the time phones/laptops etc. are fed through the soundcard built into the mixer.

Time does march on and something simple, basic and cheap becomes horrifically expensive once it heads down the obsolete trail. Tube amps used to be cheaper than transistor, record players used to be king, 8 tracks, cassette, CD, DVD and the list goes on. I strongly suspect Class AB will be going obsolete in the next 10 years but I still have my old AB with torrodial PSU and schematics--get off my lawn! Heck, in 10 years we might be "watching TV" wearing glasses as lasers create the images on our retinas--think about it. Might have sound projectors follow your skull and project sound that is correct even as you walk around....never know. Then again, some idiot could mutate a virus and take out 98% of the planet and I'll be stuck in a cave building a victrola with a hand crank and ponder the bass response from a ram's horn the size of a parachute. Bass heads never die...

My advice is to get whatever format you have converted over to a digital storage device for archiving purposes. My CD player will eventtully die as will my BluRay so if it's important, use the CD player to make the transfer. Me? After watching the circus about the latest pandemic, I'll be working on a victrola while sipping a Corona. May you live in interesting times...
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